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f)ome College Series. 


Forty -Two. 







*Th£ "Home College Series" will contain one hundred short papers on 
a wide range of subjects — biographical, historical, scientific, literary, domes- 
tic, political, and religious. Indeed,. the religious tone will characterize all 
of them. They are written for every body — for all whose leisure is limited, 
but who desire to use the minutes for the enrichment of life. 

These papers contain seeds from the best gardens in all the world of 
human knowledge, and if dropped wisely into good soil, will bring forth 
harvests of beauty and value. 

They are for the young — especially for young people (and older people, 
too) who are out of the schools, who are full of "business" and "cares," 
who are in danger of reading nothing, or of reading a sensational literature 
that is worse than nothing. 

One of these papers a week read over and over, thought and talked about 
at "odd times," will give in one year a vast fund of information, an intel- 
lectual quickening, worth even more than the mere knowledge acquired, a 
taste for solid reading,"*many hours of simple and wholesome pleasure, and 
ability to talk intelligently and helpfully to one's friends. 

Pastors may organize "Home College" classes, or "Lyceum Reading 
Unions," or "Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circles," and help the 
young people to read and think and talk and live to worthier purpose. 

A young man may have' his own little •" college " all by himself, read this 
series of tracts one after the other, (there will soon be one hundred of them 
ready,) examine himself on them by the " Thought-Outline to Help the Mem- 
ory," and thus gain knowledge, and, what is better, a love of knowledge. 

And. what a young man may do in this respect, a young woman, and both 

old men and old women, may do. 

J. H. Vincent. 
New York, Van., 1883. 

\ f 


Copyright, 1888, by Phillips & Hunt, New York. 

point &olIigt Smts. fhimber Jforttr-tfoo, 

Meteors, Meteorites, and Comets evidently sustain some 
sort of relation to the solar system ; but whether that of con- 
stituent members, or only as strange, and by no means 
necessary, visitors, it is exceedingly difficult to determine. 
These three classes of bodies are separate and distinct from 
the larger aggregations of matter called planets, but are, 
nevertheless, composed of some similar elements, subject 
measurably to the same laws and form, and integral of the 
same universe. They correspond somewhat with each other 
in their periods of greatest and least abundance, revolution 
about the sun, and meeting of the earth in its orbital motion. 
Hence they frequently observe a similar order of grouping, 
and may be found together in a common stream reaching 
over millions of miles through space. They differ in magni- 
tude, as also in density. While some of the meteors are 
minute atoms which, in contact with our atmosphere, are 
dissipated by the heat of the collision into a cloud of dust or 
smoke, certain of the meteorites, and fragments of others, as 
small and diminished bodies of solid rock or metallic sub- 
stance, reach the earth, after great loss from friction in pass- 
ing through the atmosphere. Comets are of much greater 
magnitude — possibly the source of these other bodies — and 
some of them have known periodic appearances numbered by 

Comets, meteors, and meteorites are among the most 
startling and wonder-creating phenomena of our solar sys- 
tem. Comets — vast extents of rarest gas of ghostly lumi- 
nosity — will be specially considered in a future paper. Mete- 
orites — also in main reserved for a separate discussion — as 
bodies more dense than either of the others, approach more 


nearly to the earth's surface, and, indeed, in some instances, 
strike it with terrific force ; while, more frequently, after a 
violent explosion they cast fragments down upon the earth 
and then sweep away into space beyond. 


In density and constituent elements meteors more closely 
resemble comets ; but in dimensions and proximity to the 
earth they are more like meteorites. Possibly meteors are 
the least important, yet they are by all odds the most numer- 
ous of all these bodies. They are commoDly called " shoot- 
ing-stars," and have been likened to " fiery arrows shot from 
some invisible bow in space " as they dart across the sky and 
disappear, leaving in their wake, only for a few moments, 
feathery lines of light and a film of smoky vapor. They ap- 
pear in all parts of the heavens, and dart in all possible 
directions ; but by far the greater number are seen shooting 
obliquely toward the earth from east to west. Occasionally, 
from some unknown cause, they have been seen to dart up- 
ward. Their general line of motion, however, is toward the 
earth ; but they never reach it, and do not even come very 
near it, as is conclusively proven by the fact that they are 
never seen during a cloudy day. Meteorites appear beneath 
the clouds, but meteors never do. The clouds vary from one 
fifth of a mile to five miles in height, while the altitude of 
visible meteors ranges anywhere from six to 140 miles. The 
suddenness of their appearance and disappearance argues 
their entire consumption at a considerable height in the 
earth's atmosphere. Seemingly they move silently through 
space. At any rate they are unaccompanied by an audible 
report, such as is heard in the explosion of a meteorite. To 
this latter class belongs the so-called meteor reported but 
recently as being seen from the towns of Petersburg and 
Fredericksburg in Virginia. It is spoken of as " the most 
remarkable celestial phenomenon ever witnessed in that 


vicinity." About 5 o'clock on the morning of March 4, 1883, 
an immense ball of fire passed across the heavens from the 
north-west toward the south-west. Its light was of a brilliant 
blue tint, and so illuminated these towns that a newspaper 
might have been read with ease. The spectacle was a grand 
one, but much alarm was created by the meteorite exploding 
with loud detonations followed by distinct tremors of the 
earth. Persons were awakened all along its route by the 
noise and shocks. Possibly if we were sufficiently near one 
of the larger meteors we would be even more appalled by 
the hissing, rushing, roaring sound of its swiftly moving and 
highly heated mass. Even a gaseous body, moving at the ap- 
palling speed of from 35 to 100 miles per second through a re- 
sisting medium — though it be of the slightest density — must 
produce some perceptible noise. And when through friction 
the mass bursts into flame, the volume of sound must be cor- 
respondingly increased. Of course, the larger the body the 
greater the noise of motion. Meteors vary greatly in size, 
from those invisible to the naked eye to others of the appar- 
ent size and brightness of the moon. It is quite probable 
some of these peculiar bodies are not more than a few feet 
in diameter, as they are so soon consumed. One was seen 
which remained visible for some time, and if, as was sup- 
posed, it was 11.0 miles distant, it could not have been less 
than one mile in diameter. 

An interesting account of meteors seen in 1718 is to be 
found from the pen of the great astronomer, Edmund Halley, 
in the twenty-ninth volume of the "Transactions of the 
Royal Society of London." He cites one, more remarkable 
than others, which Sir Hans Sloane claimed to have seen 
while walking the streets of London. "This meteor ap- 
peared in the evening, a few minutes after eight o'clock, the 
sky being clear and the moon shining brightly near the 
meridian. Suddenly a great light appeared in the west, 
which he at first attributed to rockets or fire-works ; but he 


was soon undeceived, for, on easting his eyes toward the 
light, he saw a splendid meteor in the direction of the 
Pleiades, having a long luminous train, or tail, of a most 
dazzling brilliancy. It left behind it a track of a yellowish- 
red color, which seemed to sparkle. The splendor of this 
meteor was little inferior to that of the sun ; and so strong 
was the light that, within doors, candles were of no use ; and 
although the moon shone brightly, her light was scarcely 
visible. In fact, for a few seconds, the light resembled that 
of day." A surpassingly brilliant meteor passed over Canada 
and the northern part of the United States on the 18th of 
May, 1838. Professor Loomis estimated it to be thirty 
miles above the earth, three quarters of a mile in diameter, 
and having a velocity of about 40 miles per second. 

How can even the immense velocity of meteors produce 
heat and name in those higher regions of the atmosphere, 
where the air is so thin and the cold so very intense ? is a 
question both pertinent and suggestive. We all know some- 
thing of friction as a heat producer. The aborigines of 
America procured fire by briskly rubbing two pieces of wood 
of the proper condition one upon the other. The more com- 
bustible a substance, while proportionately capable of resist- 
ing force, the more quickly can it be set on fire by friction. 
The rapid motion of the meteor evidently compresses the 
thin air of the higher atmosphere into a sufficient density — 
affords some resistance, and yet it must be so slight as to 
fail of producing fire were this body not composed of some 
very light and highly inflammable substance. A reasonable 
supposition is, therefore, that a meteor is a gaseous, phos- 
phorescent body, which ignites at a very low temperature. 


Formerly the supposition obtained credence that meteors 
originated in gaseous exhalations from the earth, and were 
ignited by the oxygen of the atmosphere after the manner 


of the common phenomenon called the Jack-o'-lantern, 
which is produced as follows : Sometimes in low, swampy 
ground, from decaying bones will rise phosphorus acid, and 
near by, from decaying leaves at the bottom of stagnant 
water, hydrogen gas will rise to the surface. These two 
gases unite, forming the compound known as phosphoretted 
hydrogen, which is. so highly inflammable that it ignites by 
simple contact with the oxygen of the air, the current of 
which it follows until all is consumed. But meteors are not 
immense Jack-o'-lanterns. This is evident from the great 
height at which meteors are seen, as also from the magni- 
tude of certain meteoric displays. Phosphoretted hydrogen, 
in such quantities as the earth produces, is insufficient for 
these displays, and, even if sufficient, it would be all con- 
sumed long before reaching the meteoric heights. There- 
fore we must look to some other source than our planet for 
the origin of these bodies. 

Among the recent great discoveries in the science of 
astronomy is that of a remarkable connection between 
comets, meteors, and meteorites. From careful observations 
and calculations it is found the shape, size, and position of 
their orbits so exactly coincide that the suggestion is a nat- 
ural and probably a true one, that comets comprehend, if they 
do not entirely consist of, clouds of meteors and meteorites. 
Hence, if we find the origin of one, we will literally find it to 
be the common origin of all three of these peculiar bodies. 
The nebular hypothesis offers an explanation of cometic 
origin somewhat after the following manner: Matter is said 
to have been motionless and thinly diffused through space 
until the omnipotence of God endued it with the property 
of attraction ; then all the particles of matter, in every part 
of the material universe, were thus set in motion: bodies of 
various degrees of density were formed around centers of 
aggregation, where these particles collected in the greatest 
number ; the more slightly condensed of these bodies are 


comets. This theory has evoked a great deal of jnst criti- 
cism. Another and more recent one, which may be termed 
the solar hypothesis, is received with great favor, and in the 
light of certain discoveries is the more satisfactory. Accord- 
ing to this theory, the sun by volcanic force expels from its 
interior, and with great violence throws, the matter found in 
comets, meteors, and meteorites far beyond the sphere of his 
superior attraction. Besides this projectile or volcanic force, 
the sun's mysterious repelling or electric force contributes 
more largely, perhaps, than the attraction of other systems 
of worlds to the forcing off of these newly formed cometary 
bodies into the depths of space. Probably none of these 
forces alone would be sufficient; but all taken together 
could, as a matter of fact, produce these wonderful results. 
Well known solar phenomena furnish sufficient ground for 
this theory of the comet-making power of the sun. This 
body experiences convulsions of the most grand and terrific 
character; "convulsions compared with w T hich all the tor- 
nadoes, tempests, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions of 
earth are but as the rippling waves of some embowered 

With the superior instruments of to-day, men have wit- 
nessed and measured, with great accuracy, the effects of 
these mighty and violent eruptive forces. Not only from the 
surface of the sun, but from its great and unknown depths, 
huge molten masses, gaseous, liquid, and solid, are upheaved, 
projected into and far beyond the solar atmosphere. These 
have been seen in a continuously expanding form at the 
astonishing height of 100,000, and even 200,000, miles. Is it 
not highly probable some of this same matter, so highly at- 
tenuated as to be for the time invisible to us, is projected so 
far into space that it does not fall back into the sun, but 
moves off to an inconceivably great distance, where its 
initial velocity being partly spent, and the repelling force 
being overcome by the attracting force of the sun, it sw T eeps 


back, in a highly elliptical orbit, with ever-increasing veloc- 
ity till, in its rapid curve about, when it is nearest to the sun, 
the repelling force again overcoming the attractive force, it 
again sweeps away to a great distance ? If this supposition 
be true to fact, we might naturally expect what actually 
does occur, namely, an increase of cometic density with the 
increase of distance from the sun, and a corresponding de- 
crease of the same on nearing the sun. While the foregoing 
theory may account for the existence of such comets as from 
their movements appear to belong to our system, we must 
seek a source of origin outside the solar system for such 
comets as drop down upon us from the infinite heights of 
space, and then speed away with very little probability of 
ever again returning. These seemingly lawless wanderers 
must have some such remote birthplace as the stars. That 
such is the case appears the more probable when we take into 
consideration the fact that the stars are also suns, and of a 
similar constitution to our own. It is but natural to sup- 
pose that they, too, are engaged in comet-forming processes, 
only, in the main, upon a much larger scale than our sun, 
since by their greater proportions they are capable of exert- 
ing a correspondingly greater expulsive and repelling force. 
The Dogstar (Sirius) is supposed to be 2,000 times larger in 
volume or bulk, while the star Vega, in the constellation of 
the Harp, has been estimated to be upward of 50,000 times 
larger than our sun. If the sun is a globe of liquid molten 
matter, with heaving, rolling, tossing flame-billows of the 
height of 10 and 20 miles, the stars must have similar billows 
of fire, hundreds of times greater in magnitude, momentum, 
and force. The action of such forces on such a stupendous 
scale is appalling, even in thought. Imagine these flame bil- 
lows reaching the height of one and two thousand miles, 
rushing, surging, roaring, as they roll on around the vast fiery 
world, unobstructed by headlands, capes, or promontories, 
and with no break to their force by resisting shores. And 


besides all this, as we saw upon the sun, there are here even 
mightier forces, manifest in those physical agitations and 
eruptions, projecting matter in an incredibly short time to an 
inconceivably great height. From this projected stellar 
matter, doubtless, come those comets which do not belong to, 
though they may, in great periods of time, visit, our solar sys- 
tem. Some of the greatest intellects known to the world have 
been occupied with this subject as one of no little interest. 
A common conclusion, founded upon the foregoing facts and 
the long period of some of the comets, is that some, at least, 
come from the stars. 

It has been seen that the period of one was 100,000 years, and 
that of another 122,000 years, while others have baffled com- 
putation. It is known, however, to require 8,000,000 years 
for a comet from the nearest star to make this friendly visit. 
If the former statement be true, that comets comprehend, 
if they do not entirely consist of, clouds of meteors and mete- 
orites, then it follows, as a matter of course, that some of 
these peculiar bodies which reach our atmosphere, as well as 
some of the dust and fragments which reach the earth, orig- 
inally came from the stars. The reason for supposing this 
intimate relation of these meteors and meteorites with comets 
has been hinted at, and it may also be in place to give a 
word of additional explanation before considering certain 
notable instances of meteoric displays. Meteors are most 
frequently seen after a comet and along its path, sometimes, 
indeed, falling in great showers, when they are numbered by 
millions. The supposition is that the cometic matter of the 
train, partially driven off by the repelling or electric force 
of the sun, has been partially attracted by the earth, so that 
a considerable portion has been drawn off and appears in our 
atmosphere as meteors. It may seem strange that meteors 
are often seen in the absence of cometic appearances, and 
yet it would be unjustifiable to infer from this other than a 
cometary source for meteors. It does not follow that comets 


do not exist where they are not seen. " Large numbers pass 
unnoticed, because of their distance, their dimness, and their 
small size; while many more enter our heavens and depart 
unseen during the day and moonlight nights, but leave a 
portion of their matter in the remote regions of space; and 
this matter, after some time, finds its way to our globe, and 
is drawn into our atmosphere and then ignited by the friction 
and the oxygen of the air. Thus it will be understood why 
meteors or shooting-stars are seen when no comets are 


Meteors sometimes shoot toward the earth in showers of 
thousands, with more or less brilliancy, and at times emitting 
sufficient light to illuminate the heavens. These phenomena 
occur periodically. They are often seen at other times, es- 
pecially in the tropics ; but the time most likely for them to 
be seen is about the 10th of August and the 12th and 13th 
of November. In Scotland, on the morning of the 14th of 
November, 1866, at about a quarter past 1 o'clock, a most 
brilliant and exceedingly striking meteoric shower was wit- 
nessed. The one of 1867 was scarcely less remarkable for 
the number and brilliance of the meteors. Similar phenom- 
ena have occurred about the 12th of November, 1799, in 
South America at Cumana ; November, 1831, in Ohio and in 
Spain ; and in the western part of Asia and the southern 
part of Europe in November, 1832. But the most magnifi- 
cent shower of meteors which has ever been known was that 
which fell during the night of the 12th of November, 1833. 
This shower commenced about nine o'clock in the evening, and 
continued till the morning sun concealed them from view. 
This amazing exhibition extended from Canada to the north- 
ern boundary of South America, and from about longitude 61 
degrees in the Atlantic to 100 degrees in the heart of Mex- 
ico. On the following night other parts of the world gazed 
upon a similar though less brilliant spectacle. For some years 


following, meteoric showers occurred about the same time in 
November, yet never equaling in number, brightness, or 
duration that of 1833. " The heavens probably never offered, 
and earth surely never beheld, a spectacle so sublime." 
The sky seemed to be emptying itself upon the earth of all 
its starry bodies. To those who believed such to be the case 
it must have been surprising that a single sparkler was left 
to shine in the heavens on the succeeding night. But not a 
star had disappeared from the blue vault above. " The heav- 
ens " still continue " to number out the glory of the strong 
•God," "for that he is strong in power not one faileth." 
During this downpour of meteors nearly every one left a 
luminous feathery streak along its path, which soon totally 
vanished from sight. Some of the larger meteors, shooting 
across the heavens, drew longer, broader, and brighter dashes 
of light, which would remain for quite a while and assume 
peculiar shapes, resembling different objects, according as the 
beholder was under the influence of fear, superstition, or 
imagination. Hence, fantastic lines, swords, spears, and 
huge serpents, as also the word " war," written in characters 
of fire on the dark sky, were confidently asserted to have been 
seen. In the north-east, however, a pruning-hook was dis- 
tinctly visible for a full hour and a quarter. The Scripture 
gives as one of the characteristics of the last day the falling 
of the stars from heaven. Many thought the end of all 
things had arrived, and some actually died of terror, believ- 
ing the heavens and the earth to be on fire, and that the day 
of judgment was at hand. Aside from the magnifying ef- 
fect of fear and the numerous additions of imagination, it 
was a scene peculiarly grand and impressive, and one never 
to be forgotten. 


By some it is supposed that they introduce essential ele- 
ments into our atmosphere, and, indeed, in connection 
with comets, may, in the first place, have given to us the 


atmosphere of our planet, as they may possibly have since 
done for other planets. They render certain the existence of 
gaseous bodies in space, as also the possibility of different de- 
grees of condensation of such bodies. From this, the former 
existence of our planet as a gaseous body is not improbable. 
Still further, the meteors and the meteorites generously con- 
tribute to keep up the heat and light of the sun forming, as 
they do, the millions of miles of cometary matter, which it is 
supposed, is laid quite frequently as fuel upon that central fire. 
But the most interesting and startling conjecture Professor 
Pierce publishes as the results of his investigations : " That 
the heat which the earth receives directly from meteors is 
the same in amount which it receives from the sun by radi- 
ation, and that the sun receives jive sixths of its heat from the 
meteors that fall upon it" This may be a fact, but as yet it 
is a question. However, certain interesting facts point most 
significantly in that direction, some of which we have 
already considered, as also others which we will now consider; 
such as the immense number of meteoric masses of matter, 
from the density of gas to rock, from the weight of a grain 
to a ton, and scattered every-where throughout space. The 
number to be seen on different occasions is extremely vari- 
able ; sometimes not more than four or five during a night, 
while again so many appear in a small section of the sky 
that it is impossible to count them. An estimate of 1,000 
has been made as the average daily number visible at one 
place to the naked eye. It is also calculated that the aver- 
age distance from each other of those seen by the naked 
eye, under favorable circumstances, is 300 miles. Then it is 
found that the number visible at one place is but one thou- 
sandth part of those visible to the whole earth. Therefore 
the average number of meteors that traverse the atmosphere 
daily, and that are large enough to be seen by the unaided 
eye, if sun, moon, and clouds would permit, must be up- 
ward of 7,000,000. Every day our atmosphere comes in 


contact with near 8,000,000 little bodies. There is collision; 
the meteor flashes out its sign of extinction, and, if it 
reaches the earth at all, it is in the form of dust or gas. But 
it is found that, with the telescope, upward of forty times 
the number visible to the naked eye are light enough to 
be seen. Hence, if there were no cause to prevent, about 
400,000,000 would be visible from our planet, through 
the telescope, daily. In every space as large as that 
occupied by the earth and its atmosphere, there must be 
at least 13,000 bodies sufficiently large and luminous to 
be visible to the naked eye, and forty times as many 
which can be seen through the telescope. Dr. Schmidt 
claimed that in 1873 he succeeded in obtaining a telescopic 
view of a system of bodies which had turned into meteors. 
These meteors he saw as two larger bodies, followed by 
smaller ones, all moving in a parallel direction until utterly 
consumed. It is possible that, like worlds and satellites, 
they had been revolving about each other before coming 
into contact with our atmosphere. Probably our planet has 
many such bodies revolving around it, somewhat after the 
manner of the moon, but remaining invisible until drawn so 
near as to ignite by contact with our atmosphere. We do 
not know just exactly what effect this conflagration of mete- 
ors has upon our atmosphere. No doubt it produces a very 
considerable agitation which may extend to a very great 
distance ; and yet, he is undoubtedly a presumptuous man 
who attempts to predict, with any degree of certainty, the 
time, locality, extent, and strength of storms of wind and 
rain upon the fact of a more than ordinary fall of heavy 
meteors. About all that can be said with safety is that 
meteors undoubtedly produce atmospheric disturbances ; but 
it is probable that they are largely, if not wholly, confined 
to the upper regions. These disturbances may doubtless 
somewhat resemble whirlwinds caused by fire. An extensive 
fire frequently produces a strong upward motion of the air, 


and of sufficient force, as known upon burning western 
prairies, to lift a man from the ground and carry him a con- 
siderable distance. "Some years since, during the burning 
of a canebrake in Alabama, several whirls were formed in 
the midst of the names, some of which rose to the height of 
two hundred feet, and in form resembled the upper cone of 
an hour-glass. Similar effects were produced by the confla- 
gration of Moscow, September 14-20, 1812." 

A very significant fact in connection with a meteoric shower 
is that it proceeds from some center, called the radiant-point. 
Upward of fifty radiant-points have been discovered. The 
center, or radiant-point, of the August meteors is in the con- 
stellation of Perseus, while that of the November meteors is 
in the direction of the star Gamma, of the constellation Leo. 
Without doubt this point is far distant from the earth, since 
it seemed fixed among the stars, and, like them, apparently 
moved westward. If the source of meteors was within our 
atmosphere, this radiant-point would have revolved with it 
from east to west, whereas its course was in the opposite 
direction. The radiant-point of the November shower of 
1833, instead of appearing luminous, was a dark circular space 
on the sky of several degrees in diameter. The meteoric 
lines of light all seemed to proceed from this point, although 
the meteors were not always seen to start from it. The in- 
ference is that at that point a huge globe of gaseous or phos- 
phorescent matter was the source of these meteors. From 
it the superior attraction of the earth drew separate por- 
tions of its substance into our atmosphere, which set them on 
fire. The light from some of these burning portions differed 
in color, probably owing to the predominance of different 
elements in each. Some, indeed, exhibited a most beautiful 
and delicate blending of all the hues of the rainbow, as they 
streamed across the sky. Taken all in all, this spectacle was, 
however, more terrifying than pleasing to many who saw it. 
Perhaps while gazing upon the starry splendors of the night, 


and contrasting the order, harmony, and serene constancy of 
the celestial bodies with the change, conflict, and confusion 
of earth, you are suddenly startled by, seemingly, the larg- 
est and brightest of the stars sweeping with furious speed 
across the sky, with a noise like that of the hurricane's roar 
or the rushing sound of a sweeping simoom, and thus invad- 
ing the order and harmony of celestial position and motion, 
which is still further violated by a succeeding down-pour of 
star-like bodies. Sad and fearful, you turn to look for the 
dark void overhead, which has been emptied of its ancient 
glory, and you see that not a single gem has been lost 
from the diadem of Night. "She still moves on in the same 
solemn silence, her train still glittering with the same mag- 
nificent garniture of worlds. That strange light was only a 
transient meteor, kindled and quenched in the earth's stormy 
and sulphurous atmosphere. It is only the mistaken glance 
of the moment which has led you to transfer the disorder 
and ruin of this groaning habitation of man to the serene 
and unchanging heavens." Far beyond where the meteor 
flames and expires, far beyond its radiant-point, far beyond 
the utmost reach of solar light, the shining host of heaven 
still observes the same silent harmony and perfect order. 
Even when the contentious struggle, the agony and the 
death of man's brief day is over, the night, then as ever, 
will marshal forth God's host, with all their beacon fires 
still burning upon the plains of heaven. 

Disobedience to God is the only discord that has ever dis- 
turbed the peace or darkened the light of the universe. Comets 
in ghostly light, the seemingly erratic meteors in blazing 
fire, shoot athwart the heavens obedient to his will. Man has 
kindled all the fires that burn, caused all the tempests that 
rage in a guilty soul, and brought misery and desolation 
upon our suffering world by his disobedience to God. What 
folly to oppose him who guides the comets in their courses, 
scatters meteors and meteorites at his will, and whose un- 


aided hand upholds the millions of worlds ! Why should 
we stand in the way of the fulfillment of purposes which are 
from everlasting and for the harmony and the happiness of 
millions of immortals ? " To sin against God is such blindness 
and madness as it would be for a feeble man to lift his hand 
to sweep the sun from the heavens and to blot out the stars 
from the sky." 


"The periodic meteors of November probably compre- 
hend bodies having an equal range of magnitude, and per- 
haps also of density." — Loomis. 

" God's creative power has called into existence every ray 
of light that shines, and every system of worlds that rolls in 
immensity. The breath of the Almighty has given life to- 
the smallest insect and to the mightiest archangel." 

" Science, having dazzled our vision and bewildered our 
minds with the infinite blaze of suns and systems of worlds, 
shows us millions of perfectly organized beings in a drop of 

" One hour of silent sunshine will do more to change the 
face of the earth than millions of men can do in a life-time- 
of toil. With all the united force of all thine armies, thou 
canst not wound the fair face of the earth so deeply as one 
surge of the pent-up fires that burn beneath thy feet. One 
tremble of the earthquake, one throb in the fiery heart of the 
volcano, one hour of the ocean's stormy wrath, the removal 
of one element from the air, the water, or the light, will do 
more to change the globe than all thine arts and engines in 
years of toil. And yet the whole earth of thy habitation is 
but a single mote in the star dust with which God's creative 
hand has strewn the skies." — Daniel March. 


"How is night's sable mantle labored o'er ! 

How richly wrought with attributes divine ! 

What wisdom shines ! what love! this midnight pomp, 

This gorgeous arch with golden worlds inlaid, 

Built with Divine ambition." — Young. 

" Here truths sublime and sacred science charm ; 

Creative arts new faculties supply ; 
Mechanic powers give more than giant's arm ; 

And piercing optics more than eagle's eye." 

" Practical Astronomy treats of astronomical instruments 
and their application. These instruments are usually placed 
in a building called an observatory, which is erected in a 
suitable situation for obtaining an uninterrupted view of the 
heavens." — Bouvier. 

"Princes are like to heavenly bodies which cause good 
and evil times, and which have much veneration, but no 
rest." — Bacon. 

" I care not, Fortune, what you me deny : 
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace ; 

You cannot shut the windows of the sky, 
Through which Aurora shows her bright'ning face." 

— Thomson. 


[thottght-otttlink to help the memory.] 

"1 . How comets, meteors, and meteorites differ ? Some remarkable cases ? 

2. Theories of their origin ? From sun, from stars ? 

3. Meteoric displays ? Brilliant one of 1833 ? 

4. Effect of meteors ? Prof. Pierce's theory ? Heat of sun and earth increased ? 

Atmospheric disturbances ? 

5. Moral aberrations only to be feared? 


No. 1. Biblical Exploration. A Con- 
densed Manual on How to Study the 
Bible. By J. H. Vincent, D.D. Full 
and rich 10 

No. 2. Studies of the Stars. A Pocket 
Guide to the Science of Astronomy. 
By H. W. Warren, D.D 10 

No. 3. Bible Studies for Little People. 

. By Rev. B. T. Vincent. 10 

No. 4. English History. By J. H. Vin- 
cent, D.D 10 

No. 5. Greek History. By J. H. Vin- 
cent, D.D 10 

No. 6. Greek Literature. By A. D. 
Vail, D.D 20 

No. 7. Memorial Days of the Chautau- 
qua Literary and Scientific Circle lo 

No. 8. What Noted Men Think of the 
Bible. By L. T. Townsend, D.D 10 

No. 9. William Cullen Bryant 10 

No. 10. What is Education? By Wm. 
F. Phelps, A..M 10 

No. 11. Socrates. By Prof. W. F. Phelps, 
A.M. 10 

No. 12. Pestalozzi. By Prof. W. F. 
Phelps, A.M 10 

No. 13. Anglo-Saxon. By Prof. Albert 
S. Cook 20 

No. 14. Horace Mann. By Prof. Wm. 
F. Phelps, A.M. , 10 

No. 15. Frcebel. By Prof. Wm. F. 
Phelps, A.M . 10 

No. 16. Roman History. By J. H. Vin- 
cent, D.D 10 

No. 17. Roger Ascham and John Sturm. 
Glimpses of Education in the Six- 
teenth Century. By Prof. Wm. F. 
Phelps, A.M 10 

No. 18. Christian Evidences. By J. H. 
Vincent, D.D 10 

No. 19. The Book of Books. By J. M. 
Freeman, D.D. 10 

No. 20. The Chautauqua Hand-Book. 

By J. H. Vincent, D.D 10 

No. 21. American History. By J. L. 

Hurlbut, A.M '. 10 

No. 22. Biblical Biology. By Rev. J. 

H. Wythe, A.M., M.D 10 

No. 23. English Literature. By Prof. 

J. H. Gilmore 20 

No. 24. Canadian History. By Jame3 

L. Hughes. 10 

No. 25. Self-Education. By Joseph Al- 

den, D.D., LL.D 10 

No. 26. The Tabernacle. By Rev. John 

C.Hill 10 

No. 27. Readings from Ancient Classics. 10 
No. 28. Manners and Customs of Bible 

Times. By J. M. Freeman, D.D 10 

No. 29. Man's Antiquity and Language. 

By M. S. Terry, D.D 10 

No. 30. The World of Missions. By 

Henry K. Carroll 10 

No. 31. What Noted Men Think of 

Christ. By L. T. Townsend, D.D... . 10 
No. 32. A Brief Outline of the History 

of Art. By Miss Julia B. De Forest. . 10 
No. 33. Elihu Burritt: "The Learned 

Blacksmith.'" By Charles Northend. 10 
No. 34. Asiatic History: China, Corea, 

Japan. By Rev. Wm. Elliot Griffis.. 10 
No. 35. Outlines ol General History. 

By J. H. Vincent, D.D 10 

No. 36. Assembly Bible Outlines. By 

J. H. Vincent, D.D 10 

No. 37. Assembly Normal Outlines. By 

J.H.Vincent, D.D 10 

No. 38. The Life of Christ. By Rev. 

J. L. Hurlbut, M.A 10 

No. 39. The Sunday-School Normal 

Class. By J. H. Vincent, D.D 10 

Published by PHILLIPS & HUNT, 805 Broadway, New York. 


Home College Series. 

Price, each, 5 cents. Per 100, for cash, $3 50. 

The " Home College Series" will contain short papers on a wide range of subjects — 
biographical, historical, scientific, literary, domestic, political, and religious. Indeed, the 
religious tone will characterize all of them. They are written for every body — for all 
whose leisure is limited, but who desire to use the minutes for the enrichment of" life. 

By Daniel Wise 

i. Thomas Carlyle 

2. William 'Wordsworth. By Daniel 

Wise, D.D. 

3 . Egypt. By J. I. Boswell. 

4. Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. 

By Daniel Wise, D.D. 

5. Rome. By J. I. Boswell. 

6. England. By J. I. Boswell. 

7. The Sun. By C. M. Westlake, M.S. 

8. Washington Irving. By Daniel Wise, 


9. Political Economy. By G. M. Steele, 

10. Art in Egypt. By Edward A. Rand, 
n. Greece. By J. I. Boswell. 
12. Christ as a Teacher. By Bishop E. 


George Herbert. By Daniel Wise, 52. 

D.D. 53. 

Daniel the Uncompromising Young 154. 

Man. By C. H. Payne, D.D. 55. 

15. The Moon. By C. M. Westlake, M.S. 56. 

16. The Rain. By Miss Carrie E. Den- j 57. 

nen. 58. 

17. Joseph Addison. By Daniel Wise, 59. 

D.D. 60. 

18. Edmund Spenser. By Daniel Wise, 61. 

D.D. 62. 

19. China and Japan. By J. I. Boswell. 63. 

20. The Planets. By C. M. Westlake, 64. 


21. William Hickling Prescott. By 1 65. 

Daniel Wise, D.D. J66. 

22. Wise Sayings of the Common I 

Folk. 67. 

23. William Shakespeare. By Daniel 68. 

Wise, D.D. {69. 

24. Geometry. 

25. The Stars. By C. M. Westlake, M.S. 70. 

26. John Milton. By Daniel Wise, D.D. 

27. Penmanship. 71. 

28. Housekeeper's Guide. 

29. Themistocles and Pericles. (From 172. 


Alexander. (From Plutarch.) 

Coriolanus and Maximus. 

Demosthenes and Alcibiades. 

The Gracchi. {From Plutarch.) 

Caesar and Cicero. (From Plutarch.) 

Palestine. By J. I. Boswell. 

Readings from William Words- 

The Watch and the Clock. By Al- 
fred Taylor. 

A Set of Tools. By Alfred Taylor. 



! 73- 

(From j 


(From i 75. 
j 7 6. 


8 3 - 

Diamonds and other Precious 

Stones. By Alfred Taylor. 
Memory Practice. 
Gold and Silver. By Alfred Taylor. 
Meteors. By C. M. Westlake, M.S. 
Aerolites. By C. M. Westlake, M.S. 
France. By J. I. Boswell. 
Euphrates Valley. By J. I. Boswell. 
United States. By J. I. Boswell. 
The Ocean. By Miss Carrie R. Den- 

Two Weeks in the Yosemite and 

Vicinity. By J. M. Buckley, D.D. 
Keep Good Company. By Samuel 

Ten Days in Switzerland. By H. B. 

Ridgaway, D.D. 
Art in the Far East. By E. A. Rand. 
Readings from Cowper. 
Plant Life. By Mrs. V. C. Phoebus. 
Words. By Mrs. V. C. Phoebus. 
Readings from Oliver Goldsmith. 
Art in Greece. Part I. 
Art in Italy. Part I. 
Art in Germany. 
Art in France. 
Art in England. 
Art in America. 
Readings from Tennyson. 
Readings from Milton. Part I. 
Thomas Chalmers. By Daniel Wise, 

Rufus Choate. 
The Temperance Movement versus 

The Liquor System. 
Germany. By J. I. Boswell. 
Readings from Milton. Part II. 
Reading and Readers. By H. C 

Farrar, A.B. 
The Cary Sisters. By Miss Jennie M. 

A Few Facts about Chemistry, By 

Mrs. V. C. Phoebus. 
A Few Facts about Geology. By 

Mrs. V. C. Phoebus. 
A Few Facts about Zoology. By 

Mrs. V. C Phoebus. 
Circle (The) of Sciences. 
Daniel Webster. By Dr. C. Adams. 
The World of Science. 
Comets. By C. M. Westlake, M.S. 
Art in Greece. Part II. 
Art in Italy. Part II. 
Art in Land of Saracens. 
Art in Northern Europe. Part I. 
Art in Northern Europe, Part II. 
Art in Western Asia, By E. C. 


Published by Phillips & Hunt, JVew York ; Walden & Stowe, Cincinnati, Ohio.